State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007KY89B
Title: Diatom colonization patterns in freshwater springs in relation to underlying geology at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: KY 1st
Focus Categories: Ecology, Groundwater, Hydrogeochemistry
Keywords: periphyton, water quality indicator, karst
Principal Investigator: Hendricks, Susan
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 12,000
Abstract: The Western Pennyroyal karst area contains numerous springs and seeps, many of which have been contaminated by pesticides and agricultural runoff. Understanding karst geology in a region is important because local geology has an impact on surface water quality; geology affects the conductivity, alkalinity, nutrients, and pH of the stream water. The springs form the base flow for 1st order streams. The water quality of the springs will in turn establish the environmental/biological conditions of the streams. While water quality can be assessed chemically, relationships to biology are more problematic. Algae, particularly diatoms, form the base of the food chain in small streams. Diatoms are a siliceous class of algae reputed for being very sensitive to chemical conditions; therefore they are seen to be a potential useful supplement to chemical analyses of water quality.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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